Okay, let's see if I can actually post this without procrastination this time...
Usagi vs Rei? A Nightmare in Dreamland
-First episode Masahiro Ando is credited as the animation director. Therefore, keep your eye out for more circular faces and lots of facial expressions!
-Well, it's unneeded, but it's nice to know the three girls already have a chemistry to work off each other for the next 14 or so episodes.
-Third mention of the princess. Thrown away casually as usual, I see.
-Interesting angle in the Dark Kingdom when we see the soldiers. It's not seen well, but I appreciate that it's not a head-on angle this time.
-The reveal of Jadeite wasn't really executed that well. Not only can you see part of his hair a little when you see him before the revel, giving you a clue alredy, he plays it in a calm matter. It should be a minor shock, but that didn't happen.
-Love the facial expressions on the characters after we see Usagi on the merry-go-round. The timing on that was great.
-Okay, what's up with Ami in this shot?
-Nice use of delay timing when Usagi sees the lion, as it makes the reaction funnier, and a interesting use of using straight shapes and lines when she reverted to Rei. Uses the frenzy and panic of Usagi very well. Get used to it though, as it's used a few times in this series.
-Great face on Rei after Usagi gets off on her. Nice use of a upward camera angle too.
-BTW, while I'll like the use of a more circular head on the Dream Princess, as it makes her distinguishable from the other characters, unfortunately, that circular face will be used for the other characters in future episodes Ando worked on. It's fine now, but wait until we get to S, it'll get ugly...
-Suspenseful background behind Jadeite there. Too bad the use of primary colors ruins it a little bit.
-Wait, how did Usagi get that rabbit? That was unexpected, and not the good kind either.
-Now, the scene where Usagi and Rei fight over the kid with the bear is what Masahiro Ando excelled at. Funny facial expressions, abstract backgrounds, and fast pace timing. Now he was great at that. The stuff where it's slowed down and all sappy, however, he didn't do so hot on that. But I'll save that chapter for another day.
-The use of a roller coaster as a scene cut, however, doesn't work. Not only does it distract the viewer, it doesn't really make a lick of sense. I mean, how does a roller coaster transition a scene flawlessly?
-You know, Mamoru being on that train doesn't really make sense. Even if we leanr more about the character later in the show, it still doesn't make sense.
-A unique way of ending the first act. To explain, most episodes in this show end their first act by some still of something (like, a background before the fade in to the eyecatcher). Here, the train keeps going, and bam, eyecatcher. Interesting, isn't it?
-Thinking about it, isn't it kinda odd that Murid in this episode does a evil smirk in her non-evil disguise, but as a youma, never does? That's kinda, oddly weird, isn't it?
-This might be just me, but so far, Rei is kinda acting like a straightman, or a realist, to Usagi. Certainly a nice contract to Usagi's antics and crying if you ask me.
-Why do I have a feeling that there a story about a snake and becoming stoned somewhere?
-First use of "Begone, Evil Spirits!" Surprised that didn't hurt her though.
-Whoa, Murid's transformation was great. Not only was it on 24 fps, it just felted a little spooky, but not the scary kind. That's my nomination for "Best Youma transformation during Jadiete's time on the show".
-Sheesh, that's the third time we see Luna in that "Watch out" pose was. I know this show reuses its' footage a lot, but that's just lazy.
-Yet another great facial expression when we see hearts coming out of Usagi's and Rei's eyes. See what I mean when facial expression was Ando's specialty?
-More great timing when we revel what Usagi and Rei were actually riding. Their voices suddenly stopping helps add to the hilarity.
-Reusing Tuexdo Mask's appearance from the first episode? Was the budget really that low?
-One of the few times in the show where two normal attacks were combined for massive damage. Again, certainly wouldn't be the last.
-Oh, before I forget, I notice that other then the mechanical animals, the episode didn't really used it's amusement park setting to it's potential. Oh well, at least we got pretty backgrounds to stare at that isn't Tokyo.
-There's that sitcomish ending again!
Overall: Sato once said to Ikuhara that he was overdoing his episodes, as seen as this episode was lighter then the previous episode he directed. Again, he was wrong, as this episode had what episode 6 had. A more interesing plot for once, characterizations being just right and not being completely annoying, and of course, some great animation. So, while this episode wasn't quite as good as the sixth episode, it's still a good one. I say give it a watch.
FUN FACT: Ikuhara was responsible for completely changing Rei's character, as seen by the comic dialogue in this episodes. There's more examples, so I'll point them out when we ge there. So, next time you complain about Rei's character in the anime, remember, it's Ikuhara fault!
All images are from "the oracle". What's that you say? You don't care? TOO BAD!